SN3 & XS3 questions

I just have some questions on the SN3 and XS3:

  1. Do these units still “prefer” NACA5 speaker cables? Is it ok to use other speaker cable brands? I have read that these newer models are more “forgiving” on other speaker cable brands already. Is this true? Aside from probably a change in sonic signature, are there any downside in using other speaker brands such as possible overheating and parts reliability?
  2. There are USB upgrade ports in the SN3 and XS3. Has anyone “upgraded” theirs? What does it actually upgrade? Isn’t it that these units do not have DACs, and are purely analog?

I’m sure they still “prefer” NACA5, although using it with these integrated amps is perhaps not absolutely necessary from a stability point of view. For all that, try to stick to Naim’ guidance of speaker cable that’s low capacitance and moderate inductance, and make sure you don’t go too short either. And stick with the Naim SA8 connectors - at least at the amp end.

The USB ports are there for diagnosis and any possible future firmware updates to the logic control and switching board.


The challenge here is that many manufacturers don’t publish data on their cables, so it’s hard to judge whether the capacitance and inductance are suitable. I wouldn’t know a micro Henry if I tripped over it. There are countless threads on the Forum about suitable cables for Naim and it’s well worth using the search facility.

There are a number of cables that members use successfully and these should be a safe bet. The Chord Company’s cables are used by lots of people, and cables from Tellurium Q are very popular too. I’d certainly make sure with any of these alternatives that you have a decent length, say 3m or more.


There also seems to be a lot of enthusiasm for Witch Hat Phantom speaker cables. As HH says, try a search.

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